The Importance of Sex Education to End HIV and AIDS

September 28, 2012

Sex education was once considered “taboo.” HIV advocates have been fighting to make sex education one of the more important weapons in ending HIV and AIDS.

Sex education is important for people who are at high risk. This definition changes over time and in different geographical regions. By providing information about safe sex and access to health and legal facilities, those at risk can make better decisions on how they can actively restrain the spread of HIV and AIDS in their community.

It’s also important for those living with HIV to know how to live a positive life without passing on the virus to anyone else. Sex education allows them to learn how to protect themselves from being infected with a different strain of the virus and how to live a better, more productive life with information on health and legal support.

Sex education is also crucial for young people, especially those who are considered at risk. Many policies around the globe and social norms make it difficult for youth to learn how to practice safe sex, causing the risk of contracting HIV and other STIs to increase.

Of no lesser importance would be sex education for those people not considered “at risk”, such as the elderly. In fact, increasing sex education amongst the general population will help raise awareness and confront stigma and discrimination head on.

Sex education makes it possible to end HIV and AIDS within our lifetime. One great example is how the once-booming South African coffin-making business (which served as a HIV spread benchmark) is now declining with the investment in sex education and life-saving treatments.

Knowledge is power, and with greater power comes greater responsibility to connect, vocalise and emphasise. Save lives by speaking out. What sex education resources do you know and love? Let us know in a comment or tweet!

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HITCHED! Bridal Hong Kong Now Carries Augusta Jones Wedding Gowns

September 27, 2012

Brides around the world love Augusta Jones – and for very good reason.  With an affordable price point and the attention of brides everywhere, Augusta Jones has become an international hit and was recently dubbed one of the hottest brands of the season by, American television programme ‘Randy to the Rescue.’ Hosted by America’s favourite wedding gown stylist Randy Fenoli from legendary bridal boutique Kleinfield, Augusta Jones dresses feature as one of the leading wedding dress trends of the moment.

Augusta Jones was first launched in 1999 by Danish/Italian and British/Chinese designer Charlotte Leung. The three main aims of the brand were for the dresses to be beautifully styled, flattering to all shapes and affordable for brides. Charlotte commented on their latest collections and most popular designs of 2012 “Our main inspiration continues to be classic silhouettes reminiscent of the 50’s. We are loving boat necklines and this works perfectly with sharp, clean lines. With a keen eye towards fit and form, we are creating gowns with gorgeous new Chantilly and Alencon laces to soften silhouettes too. Our styles come with options to add sleeves and this has become the “new” look after years of strapless.  While strapless gowns are still very much the look, many brides are asking for lace jackets and shrugs giving their gowns a fresh look. We could see this trend growing stronger following last year’s Royal wedding. At our London fashion shows, we saw a much stronger interest in the demure look with brides opting to personalise gowns with belts as well as shrugs.”

Successful from the start, Augusta Jones has been awarded three British Bridal finalist awards. HITCHED! is proud to include the British designer collections in store.  Set an appointment today and choose your dream wedding gown from the Augusta Jones collection.

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Relax with Rosedale Times Plaza

September 23, 2012

Located in the thriving district of Shenhe, Rosedale Shenyang’s Times Plaza Hotel is only a forty minute drive from the Shenyang Taoxian International Airport and within walking distance of fantastic shopping areas as well as highly known businesses. As one of the most accommodating hotels in the largest industrial city of northeastern China, the Times Plaza Hotel staff is always available to assist guests with any business or leisure activity.

With a broad selection of fitness programs available, finding a workout regime or other pass time is not a problem. Ranging from free weights to billiards to squash courts , Times Plaza Shenyang has many activities for guests to enjoy. Along with daily bustle, guests have access to multi-lingual staff and access to services such as car rental in order to meet each person’s individual requirements.

In celebration of the season’s festivities, until end of September, Rosedale Times Plaza Hotel is offering their Superior Room for only RMB398 per room per night. Relax in luxury with daily maid service and also receive RMB108 worth of beautiful, fitted moon cake boxes. During the same time, guests can stay with Times Plaza Hotel for  498 RMB and get 268 RMB worth of elegant moon cake boxes.

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Rosedale Beijing Welcomes Autumn with Unforgettable Deals

September 22, 2012

As summer comes to a close for Rosedale Beijing, fantastic new autumn offers arise with many more opportunities to save on a luxurious vacation or business trip. Nestled between two magnificent parks in the Chao Yang District, Rosedale Beijing provides a central location near many international businesses as well as the East embassy area. Yet work is not the only reason many are called to Beijing. While staying at Rosedale, guests are surrounded by Chinese culture and history, including the Forbidden City.

People have turned to Rosedale Beijing as they go to hotel in order to explore the mystery of the city and begin their professional meetings. With the Autumn Package at Rosedale Beijing, which is available until October 31st, experiencing excellence has never been more enjoyable. For only 888 RMB per room per night, receive  complimentary access to WiFi internet and a delightful breakfast buffet. But that is not the end of the privileges provided by Rosedale Beijing while utilizing the Autumn Package. Valued at 10 US dollars, guests also receive a free ticket to Art Zone 798 UCCA.

Long stay guests are also very welcome at Rosedale Beijing. Until December 31st, enjoy a wonderful getaway to the centre of the native culture and be free to explore nearby museums, temples, and palaces with the peace of mind of having the best prices available. Relax while being pampered with rooms ranging from 450 RMB to 950 RMB per night for 10 unforgettable nights. The longer the stay, the greater the savings!

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Enjoy a Luxurious Long Stay for Great Prices at Rosedale Kowloon

September 21, 2012

Rosedale Kowloon is settled in the centre of a bustling neighborhood and located near the exciting city of Hong Kong. Surrounded by popular landmarks such as the Jade Market and Temple Street, the hotel is in the ideal location for guests looking for a relaxing vacation amongst traditional Chinese culture or an exciting weekend away from every day life. With nearby public transportation available, spend the day in Tsim Sha Tsui or the central business district.

The best way to enjoy both the upbeat night life and laid back days is indulging in Rosedale Kowloon’s limited time long stay package. Start from HK$880, stay with Rosedale Hotel Kowloon until the end of December for consecutive 30 nights stay and receive excellent hotel services. Enjoy free access to the fitnessroom, complimentary shuttle bus service to many places including Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui, foreign currency exchange, and so much more. With a room including free WiFi Internet access and a  LED TV, staying with Rosedale Kowloon feels like home with daily maid service.

However, Kowloon is not only a place for a luxury shopping getaway and Rosedale hotels are readily available to assist when it comes to business meetings. With many services such as secretarial, courier, and printing, the staff of Rosedale Kowloon look forward to ensuring a smooth outcome for each executive’s business.

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Rosedale Guangzhou Offers Unbeatable Deluxe Room Prices

September 20, 2012

Great deals are cropping up with Rosedale Hotel in Guangzhou this summer.
Located in Haizhu area and just 1 minute walk to Changgang metro station, Rosedale Guangzhou is in the ideal place for business travellers. Rosedale is also near to the business district, such as Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre and the convenient geographical advantage can help you seize more business opportunity. The feel-like-home quality room service was praised by the traveller who stayed and let your discomfort disappeared.

Start your day off right with a fantastic breakfast and lunch buffet that is served daily at the fabulous restaurant, Sonata or take a moment of reprieve in the Serenade Lounge while grabbing a small snack and a quick drink. The spacious health centre that is equipped readily for guests with active lifestyles
Apart from business travel, Rosedale Guangzhou is in the ideal place to enjoy 2,800 years of culturally rich history. Explore the beautiful Lingnan Impression Garden or witness a stunning night time display at the Chenhuang Square. The possibilities are endless. Available for China’s National Golden Week, stay in a standard room for only 480 RMB and receive $100 worth of coupons for the lunch buffet and dinner. Yet until September 29th, stay with Rosedale Guangzhou for the Mid Autumn Festival for only 680 RMB and get a free moon cake box for the family!

All of these wonderful activities are available to all guests, but why settle for a standard room when there is more to enjoy?

This offer is limited time only, so be sure to plan and reserve the next special getaway to Guangzhou now. Do not miss out on all of the business convenience and cultural history available just around the corner from Rosedale.

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What does Yahoo and Big Tobacco have in common? Children.

September 17, 2012

Yahoo, once a golden child of the internet it has plunged into obscurity almost as complete as Friendster and MySpace. Having lost relevance across its entire product line,  Yahoo is now taking a lesson from Big Tobacco and targeting children.

I am a social media consultant through my agency PRDA. The advice I give clients follows common sense and good business practice. Target your demographic and those that will most likely be loyal consumers. All statistics show that:

  • Ages < 24 are large consumers of online time, but represent a small portion of money spent online.
  • Ages > 24 spend less time, but spend a much more significant amount of money.
  • 35 -54 is where the real cash is. They spend a significant amount of time online and spend the most money.

So why has Yahoo decided to target the youngest age group with the lowest spending potential? The most obvious reason has been mentioned; they were competitively shut out of the more lucrative areas. But there may be something to this. Historically big tobacco made a killing (pun intended) off of addicting children to the brand. McDonalds’ success is due to the influence kids have on their parents’ wallets. And more recently, apps such as Instagram have seen stratospheric valuations based on zero revenue but fanatical Gen Z members.

The problem comes from Yahoo being a mature business. They are unlikely to get a stupid valuation based on a surge of activity from kids on their site. So how long can they go without paying the rent?

Business is in business to make money. It is unclear why fundamentals often go out the window when something flashy and exciting comes along. I will cheer the success of Facebook and Instagram, but I have a better chance of winning the lottery than repeating those achievements.

Much success,


Five Reasons Why Paul Gerrard Loves Evo, and Why You Should Too!

September 14, 2012

It should come as no surprise that Paul Gerrard Salon loves evo. As a salon that emphasises high quality products, evo is one of the few that fit the bill. Our love for evo is not blind romance, but an affair backed by truths, results, and a few quirks.
#1 – No wacky ingredients
While other products claim to have rainbows on their list of ingredients to make you look as mystical as a unicorn, evo guarantees a complete lack of miracle cures. evo doesn’t have exotic dirts from the Amazon basin, nor animal extracts from the Himalayan just to sound good on its label.

#2 – Only what’s needed
Evo products aresulphate, paraben, dea, tea and propylene glycol free. What the follicle wizards at evo put into their product is just for one important reason — because your hair needs it.
#3 – Fuss-free packaging
Evo is high-end hair care line that packs a load of ingredients in sleek packages that pretty up your toilet shelves. You get what you pay for, and we are very sure it isn’t fancy packaging!
#4 – Loving mother nature
Animal and earth lovers can rejoice! No evo product is tested on animals. The packaging itself is made up entirely of recyclable material, and the company offset its carbon footprint.
#5 – Revenge against over-inflated truths
We like evo’s philosophy of side-stepping the industry norms by preaching only hair truth.Evo knows that your hair should look beautiful with minimal thought and minimal effort.

For us at Paul Gerrard Salon, evo is truly girlfriend-tested, boyfriend-approved breath of fresh air that works. Give it a whirl and tell us if you love it as much as we do!
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Recent Reports Show that Consumers Prefer Green Businesses

September 13, 2012


As the importance of sustainability rises, green businesses such as Accor hotels have seen an increase of consumer interest. With evidence of more and more companies providing an economically aware atmosphere, customer loyalty to these businesses raise significantly as well. Green growth is proving to improve local environment as well as companies’ personal interests.

There are many influences that drive consumer choices such as availability, brand names, and price. However many customers have come to expect the products in stores and from their loyal companies to be green. Despite environmentally friendly products having a premium price to them, customers globally have been reported regularly stating that they would prefer paying the cost for the green label.

It is because of this increase of interest that it is also important for companies to provide an eco-label for their products, such as Accor hotels’ toiletries that are available in every hotel bathroom. Making sure that consumers are aware your green products is beneficial to both the customer and your company.

By raising the awareness of an eco-friendly brand, businesses benefit themselves, their consumers, and the environment. Many companies struggle with how to achieve this goal, however, but the answer can be found. Accor has developed a programme titled PLANET 21 which is based on increasing green growth. Referencing the site for statistics, research, and other helpful hints is highly encouraged.

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The great divide: The haves and the have nots

September 10, 2012

We are witnessing a phenomenon in Asia; a clash of cultures within a culture. In the past we have thought of the divide as being economic, between rich and poor. This is still true, but now the currency is information.

Asia’s digitally savvy online consumers are utilising online information at a pace that dwarfs the West. 82% of internet connected consumers in Asia regularly use digital resources and social media to research brands. Online consumers in China are almost twice as likely as their U.S. counterparts to use social media in their brand decisions. So where are they getting this information? They aren’t!

The great divide: Whereas Asian culture is usually seen to be conservative, digital consumers have voraciously adopted digital platforms, social media and mobile. However, businesses remain true to a history of conservativism.  Infact, Chinese culture is one of the most conservative in Asia. And with this conservatism comes a reluctance to embrace digital or more specifically social media. Since China is considered the manufacturing powerhouse of the world today, this creates a great divide between customers desire for brand information and Asian businesses willingness to provide.

How will this culture reconcile itself? That is unclear. However, if business does not step up, the people will take charge of the brand and, in essence, negate the business’ contribution.